1. What is your current role? What was your first role when you started your career?
  • I am currently working as a partner with Start2Scale, a boutique consulting company that works with Startups in fundraising, M&A, and go-to-market and provides CXOs on demand. I am a startup advisor at multiple companies and write on fintechs and insurtechs at https://www.renjitphilip.com, a web3 startup. I started my career in Jan 1999 as a Systems Engineer in a Tech Services Company (Tata Consulting Services)

  1. Can you share one or two instances where you transitioned from one role to an unrelated or seemingly unrelated role?
  • In 2017, I left my job as GM - Strategy & Insurance at a Financial Services firm and moved to the US for a few years. I eventually ended up starting an AI-based conversational Startup in the Health insurance sector in the US. That was a significant change being a move from a corporate setting to a startup and being in a different geography (moved from Dubai to the US). 

  1. Thinking about the transition to an unrelated role, can you share the following:
  • What was your motivation for the transition - was it self driven or was it driven by circumstance
  • The transition was partly led by circumstances (my wife had been selected for a US leadership program, and we decided to move). At the same time, I had reached a plateau in my role and embraced this move as a chance to learn new things, travel and start something new.
  • What helped you the most in making this transition? Was it your network's power, prior working relationship with the line manager, transferable skills, or luck?
  • When I landed in the US, I connected with and spoke to a few contacts I had built over my education and career. This was useful for understanding the opportunity landscape and figuring out what to do. I became more interested in doing something in the US Healthcare sector, which was a fifth of the GDP at that time and rife with issues related to health insurance. 
  • It was more of a network and my being open to learning new things that led to my journey in creating a startup.
  • Once you transitioned to your new role, which of your existing skill was / skills were most helpful 
  • Valuable skills for me personally, in transitioning from my corporate job to a startup founder:
  • Business Strategy
  • Technology project management
  • Team management
  • General resourcefulness!
  • Did you have to develop a new skill or improve an existing skill in your new role? If yes, how did you go about developing/improving this skill?
  • I had domain experience in insurance but had to learn about US health insurance and the regulatory setup. I quickly realized that I would need to bolster my skillsets (hence the course on Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence) if I needed to start a business in the space. 
  • Did any training program help you either make the transition to the role or help you succeed once you transitioned to the new role
  • I took a couple of courses on AI (Stanford Online / Coursera), Coding using Python and joined the Founder Institute accelerator program.

  1. Looking back, is there anything you wish you had done differently or had better support when making these transitions?
  • I could have managed the mental stress better by practicing meditation or similar practices. I eventually did start using Headspace to learn and practice meditation and stress relief, but this was after I had many sleepless and anxiety-ridden nights!
  • I also put excessive pressure on myself to succeed, which I now know was counterproductive.

  1. What advice do you have for people exploring career transitions within or outside their organization?
  • Firstly, it is possible to make a transition. Secondly, things will work out if you are patient and build skills and tap into your network that is close to the role that you are transitioning into.

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